Canton-based Ohio Gratings, Inc. wins national benefits award

Local manufacturer’s commitment to caring for their team beyond the workplace earns them an esteemed Plan Sponsor of the Year Award.

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2024

CANTON, OHIO—Ohio Gratings, a global leader in aluminum and steel grating products, was named as one of three top finalists across the U.S. in their division for an esteemed Plan Sponsor of the Year award, hosted by PLANSPONSOR magazine.

PLANSPONSOR is a nationally recognized leader in the retirement industry. The award identifies employers who go above and beyond to make retirement income security a reality for their teams.

Business owners John and Karen Bartley recognize that in today’s economy, many workers struggle to establish a solid financial foundation. That’s why they decided to overhaul their business’ retirement savings program.

All Ohio Gratings associates receive a base contribution to their retirement savings, regardless of their own contributions. This is in addition to quarterly profit-sharing bonuses for all associates and an additional annual discretionary contribution to each 401(k) plan. Last year, the company added the equivalent of about 7% of each associate’s annual pay into their retirement savings accounts.

“We’re paying it forward for them, contributing on their behalf. We felt it was the right thing to do as an employer. We want to show our team that we are living out our core values, caring for them and helping them become financially independent,” says President/CEO John Bartley.

The company launched a retirement readiness campaign in early 2023, including on-site, company-paid one-on-one meetings for all employees across three shifts. Each associate met with financial planners from Barberton’s Bruton Chisnell Advisors. New team members are scheduled for company-paid financial consultations and 401(k) education meetings when they become eligible for the plan.

“We’ve heard so many success stories coming from these meetings—they’re literally saving people money,” says Chief Transformation Officer Karen Bartley. “We want to see our associates enjoy financial freedom, so we’re meeting people where they’re at and giving them hope and the knowledge they need to create a better future for themselves and their families.”

She goes on to say, “At Ohio Gratings, we pride ourselves on taking care of our associates in the best way that we can. We are committed to providing strong benefit programs, along with our on-site chaplain, on-site clinic and on-site dental screening events for our team. We are focused on their well-being in all aspects of their lives.”

The Bartleys’ partnership with Bruton Chisnell Advisors ensures the retirement plan delivers value to their associates and the company. So far, the business has undergone a comprehensive fiduciary review to optimize plan design, consolidate service providers and reduce fees, all while providing a roadmap for increased financial wellness and retirement success for all associates.

Of the company’s 600+ team members, 96.8% now participate in the company’s retirement plan, an increase of 15% since 2021. Participants have also increased their retirement savings rate by 3.64% since the plan was revised.

The Bartleys are pleased with the progress made since revising their retirement plan. They believe that it will benefit their associates for decades to come. This recognition through the PLANSPONSOR award ceremony is a testament to Ohio Gratings’ unwavering commitment to caring for its team members beyond the workplace.

John Bartley says, “We are honored to receive this nomination, underscoring our commitment to providing opportunities for our associates to thrive personally and professionally.”

Winners will be announced at the PLANSPONSOR National Conference in Chicago on June 5.

About Ohio Gratings
Since 1970, Ohio Gratings, Inc. has been a leader in metal bar grating design, manufacturing and custom fabrication services. Its products are used in industrial and architectural applications for walkways, catwalks, trenches, stairs, bridge decks, screens, grilles, fencing, mezzanines, and shelving. Ohio Gratings is headquartered in Canton, Ohio. For more information, visit


Media Contact:
Jeremy Chupp
Corporate Communications